The International Blue Flag Jury had its second annual meeting on September 22, 2009 to decide on the Blue Flag candidates from the Southern Hemisphere for the 2009/2010 season.
The International Jury decided to award the Blue Flag to 73 beaches and 10 marinas in Bahamas, Brazil, Dominican Republic, French Departments and Territories, Jamaica, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and South Africa. The International Jury also extended the pilot phase and gave the Blue Flag Pilot Certificate to
3 beaches in Aruba. In addition, two new countries were welcomed and their sites awarded the Pilot Certificates: one beach and one marina in Jordan and two beaches and one marina in Sint Maarten. Detailed information about the 2009 awards for the Southern Hemisphere will be published on the Blue Flag website www.blueflag.org from
The Blue Flag marina candidates were evaluated in detail to ensure compliance with the criteria concerning the hazardous waste facilities at the marina, the presence of a map indicating all the required facilities, as well as environmental education activities offered by the marina. The beach candidates were evaluated in detail to ensure the presence also of environmental education activities, a map indicating al
l the required facilities and compliance with the water quality criteria including sampling frequency. Also evaluated this year were the composition of the national juries, the common information boards and the outcome of control visits in 2008/2009 as well as the planning of control visits for 2009/2010.
The International Jury is composed of representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), International Lifesaving Federation (ILS), the World Conservation Union (IUCN), an international environmental education expert, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
At the next International Jury meeting in April 2010 the outcome of the evaluation of Blue Flag candidate beaches and marinas from the Northern Hemisphere will be presented. The Blue Flag programme is looking forward to working with new countries such as FYR Macedonia, Jordan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, as well as Trinidad and Tobago that have all shown interest in the programme.